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Transferring Medicare from State to State: What Happens When I Move?

Moving can be both an exciting and stressful time, and as a result, it can be easy to forget to consider how it might impact your health coverage. If you’re moving to another state, or even just down the road, your new address could affect your Medicare plan. 

The steps you need to take when transferring Medicare from state to state depends on the type of plan you have. In addition to alerting Medicare of your new address, you may also need to notify your carrier if you have a Medicare Supplement plan, a Medicare Advantage plan, and a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. In some cases, you might not be able to keep your plan when you move.

How Do I tell Medicare I’m Moving to Another State?

Medicare may send you information through the mail, so it’s important that they have your correct address. You can alert Medicare of your new address in 3 ways:

In order to update your information, you’ll need to know the address you’re moving to, as well as the date that you’ll be moving. Medicare won’t pass this information on to your other insurance carriers, however. You’ll need to reach out proactively to each carrier if you have other forms of insurance.

What Do I Need to Know About Moving if I Have a Medicare Supplement Plan?

About 30 days before you move, you should call your Medicare Supplement plan carrier to update your address and confirm whether or not you can keep your coverage with them. During this call, you should also ask if your rates will change, because premiums can vary by zip code even for the same plan with the same carrier. Asking for this information ahead of time can ensure that you’re not met with an unpleasant surprise if your rates go significantly up, and gives you time to shop for new coverage.

 In most cases, you can keep your Medicare Supplement plan even if you move out of state. There are two exceptions to this rule:

  • You’re moving into or out of Massachusetts, Minnesota, or Wisconsin. These states don’t offer the same standardized Medicare Supplement plans as the rest of the country.
  • You have a Medicare SELECT plan. Medicare SELECT plans limit your network for inpatient treatment to hospitals in the plan’s area.

If you’re in either of these scenarios, you’ll most likely need to shop for a new Medicare Supplement plan. Even if you can keep your plan, comparing rates can help you save money by ensuring that you’ve got the best price available. Fortunately, while moving can be a hassle, shopping for coverage doesn’t have to be. You can view rates and apply for coverage quickly and easily with our helpful tool online.

Can I Keep My Part D Prescription Drug Plan When I Move?

You may not be able to keep your Part D prescription plan depending on where you move. Not all plans are available throughout the country, so you should check with your provider ahead of time. You can shop for new plans in the month before you move so that you have one less thing to worry about as you prepare your new home. If you don’t switch your coverage in a timely fashion, you may have to wait until the Annual Enrollment Period to pick up a new drug plan. When you’re doing your shopping, you may even find that there’s a plan that costs you less than your original plan.

Will My Medicare Advantage Plan Stay the Same When I Move?

Like Part D plans, Medicare Advantage plans vary based on your location. If you move out of your plan’s network area, you won’t be able to keep your plan. The best way to determine if you can keep it is by contacting your carrier directly, about 30 days before your move.

If you’re moving out of your plan’s network area, you’ll have two options. You can re-enroll in another Medicare Advantage plan, perhaps one with the same provider or you can switch back to Original Medicare. If you switch back to Original Medicare, you’ll have a special right to apply for certain Medicare Supplement plans and be automatically accepted without having to answer medical questions. This is a huge benefit if you want a Medicare Supplement but have existing or recent medical issues. You should closely compare Medicare Advantage plans to Medicare Supplement plans before you make a decision.

As you prepare to move, it’s important to put managing your healthcare at the top of your list. Making a few simple phone calls ahead of time can prevent any gaps in your coverage, and make your transition into your new home easier. You’ll be able to ensure that you have the coverage that you need, and you may even be able to save yourself some money!

Nothing on this website should ever be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition, including decisions about the correct medication for your condition, as well as prior to undertaking any specific exercise or dietary routine.

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